• Robert Spicer

Loss of fingers in circular saw

Life-changing hand injuries: builder fined

Health and Safety Executive v David Avent (2018) Bodmin magistrates’ court, October 9

Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

David Avent, a builder, has been fined after a young worker suffered serious hand injuries.

The facts

  • In February 2017 David Avent undertook refurbishment of a barn in Callington, Cornwall. A 17- year old employee was using a circular saw to cut flooring sheets. The blade of the saw made contact with his hand. He suffered the total loss of his index finger and partial loss of two other fingers.

  • Avent had no record of any information, instruction or training being provided to workers in the safe use of the circular saw.

  • He had not ensured that safe working practices were followed when cutting flooring sheets.

  • The saw blade had not been properly adjusted for the size of material being cut, and the flooring sheet was not appropriately supported.

The decision

Avent was fined £1120 pus £8400 costs under s.2 of HSWA.

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